Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity – Sept 27, 2020

Click Here to download the Power Point

Click Here to download the Sermon Outline



1 Chronicles 12:32

“From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.”



  • I don’t have to tell you that, by any measure, we are living in challenging times: racial tensions are at a fever pitch; the political landscape is more polarized than any time in recent memory; the economy is uncertain; our streets are places of looting and chaos; and COVID continues to cast a long shadow over all our lives individually and collectively. Because of these things, there is this pervasive undercurrent of fear and anxiety that is greater now than at any time in a generation.
  • On one level this shouldn’t surprise us because the NT has taught us to expect hard times as we seek to live faithfully for Jesus, esp. as we approach the end of the present age. When Jesus came to earth as the “last Adam”, he ushered in the “last days”; when he comes again, he will close out this age and bring about the “age to come”. So, as this age winds down, we should expect bad things to occur with increasing frequency, as the Lord made clear in texts like Matthew 24. In another NT text, Paul warned us:


2 Timothy 3:1-4

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. (Tells us why) People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

  • Like the leaders of Issachar that Tilly just read about, we need to be men and women who “understand the signs of the times and know the best course for Israel to take.” The church of Jesus Christ needs to take a long hard look at what is going on around us with spiritual discernment, then respond in a prophetic and redemptive way that reflects a true understanding of where we are in God’s plan of salvation history.
  • What should be our response? Jesus suggested a way when he sent out his disciples to minister to the cities of Israel in SLIDE 4

Matt 10:16-17a

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard…”

  • What does it mean? “Shrewd as snakes” means: don’t be naïve; be mature in your spiritual judgment; don’t trust the media but learn to critically evaluate how news is reported….don’t assume, for ex, that everyone deep down is really a good person, don’t think that you can love others and expect them to respond in righteous and loving ways.
  • “Be on your guard” means that mentally, emotionally, physically you should prepare yourself for the worst. Without becoming alarmists, we each need to be students of the recent changes in our culture and wisely understand those changes within the bigger picture of our place in human history.
  • “Innocent as doves” means don’t let the hatred, divisions and distortions of the world corrupt your simple, pure devotion to God, to loving those around you and to making this world a better place to the glory of Christ. Stay uncontaminated by the world and deeply connected to God, trusting in Him that, whatever happens, you are safe in his hand and he will accomplish his purposes in the end.
  • So, in this spirit I want to offer up a few reflections on some of the changes taking place right now in American culture that are disturbing and potentially consequential to us as a republic.
  • I want to be clear from the outset. My intent is not to bum you out or terrify you by the things we will talk about today. My goal is threefold:
    1. That you would be aware of what is going on, take additional steps to educate yourself so that you can see, with spiritually mature eyes, what is taking place in all its ugliness and evil.
    2. That you would be more prayerful than you’ve ever been before for yourself, your family, our church and our country.
    3. That you would see our moment in history as a unique opportunity to do great good for building the kingdom of God to the glory of Christ.
  • So after we pray, we’re going to consider two cultural trends that are immediately apparent and we all need to be praying about and standing against. We will close by briefly mentioning two additional trends that are concerning. They are less conspicuous but may, in the end, prove more dangerous. Won’t develop them in detail, but I have listed for you a number of helpful resources so you can continue to educate yourself on all four of these trends. Let’s pray.
  • PRAY

Two troubling cultural trends


  1. The legitimizing of lawlessness
    • Sounds oxymoronic. Lawlessness is, by definition, something done without reference to any legal standard (means “without law”). Yet to legitimize something is to normalize it by placing it within a legal framework. So to legitimize (made legal) something that is inherently illegal ought to alert us to what a strange and perverse paradox this trend is.
    • And yet this is precisely what is happening in American society just now: people are engaging in lawlessness, normalizing it, applauding it, flaunting it. And this is happening at the highest levels, even by those whom we’ve elected to make our laws.
    • As you watch the videos of the riots, it feels like we’re transported back 3000 years to the pre-monarchy days of Israel. Judges 17:6 says famously: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” We might adapt it to read: “In our day, the is no king in Seattle, in Minneapolis, in New York City, in Portland, no one to hold wrong-doers accountable, so everyone does what is right in his own eyes.”
    • Lawlessness is more than an individual proclivity; it is a primal instinct as well as a spiritual force. SLIDE 6 Paul put it in these terms when he wrote to the Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains (Holy Spirit) will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one (Antichrist) will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.”
    • How do we know the mystery of lawlessness is already at work? Just look at the newsfeed on your computer. Everyday, you see different examples of lawlessness. As you identify these, you will notice at least five common expressions. First, lawlessness says:
      1. “Laws are for everyone else, but not me”
        • SLIDE 7 Earlier this month, Nancy Pelosi famously got busted on camera getting her hair done in SF salon, when salons were shuttered. How did she respond to this “hair-gate” incident? Was she humble and apologetic? No, she was indignant, blaming the salon owner for setting her up.
        • SLIDE 8 Governor Andrew Coumo who insists all New Yorkers wear face masks but has often be photographed without one.
        • Second, lawlessness says:
      1. “I will take what is yours and make it mine”
        • SLIDE 9 This, of course, is the basic premise of those looting private businesses in our cities in places like Louisville and Portland: some black participants even make the claim that they are getting their reparations for slavery.
        • Third, lawlessness says:
      1. “I will tear down what I don’t like”
        • SLIDE 10 Publicly funded statues representing historical figures that I don’t like? Tear them down!
        • SLIDE 11 The American flag, which some protestors claim to represent colonialism, white privilege, racism, exploitation and greed? Tear it down and burn it!
        • SLIDE 12 Businesses that exist in the areas where we are demonstrating? Burn them down!
        • All these items represent symbols of the American republic, which groups like Antifa and BLM want to deconstruct because they feel it is fundamentally, systemically flawed.
        • Fourth, lawlessness says:
      1. “Because you disagree with me, I will oppose you, lie about you, even kill you if needed”
        • SLIDE 13 In June of 2018, Congresswoman Maxine Waters told her supporters to surround and harass Trump staffers and administration members wherever they are found. “Let them know they are not wanted here!” she insisted. SLIDE 14 And guess what happened? Trump officials and supporters have been routinely harassed at social events, kicked out of restaurants and threatened and beat up on the streets. Why would a sitting Congresswoman encourage criminal behavior? Because when things are not to our liking, then the ends justifies the means.
        • SLIDE 15 Two weeks ago today, we saw a more graphic example of this sentiment when a lone gunman shot two LA county deputies in the head in an apparent ambush. While the two were fighting for their lives at a Lynwood hospital, SLIDE 16 demonstrators gathered outside, blocking the emergency room door, trying to break in and yelling: “We hope they die!”
        • This “You don’t agree with me so I will silence you” instinct is played out in less dramatic ways on an almost weekly basis whenever a black man or woman is shot by a police officer. There is an immediate assumption of guilt and a rush to judgment to arrest and punish the cop, before any attempt has been made to ascertain the facts of the case. We saw this six years ago in Ferguson with Michael Brown, and we’re seeing it today with Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake. The story is the same: before an objective and just judgment can be made, activists and a compliant media promote a narrative of events assassinates the character of the police officer and condemns the bias of the criminal justice system.
        • This is not American jurisprudence at work, founded on the principle of due process. This is lawlessness.
        • Finally, lawlessness says:
      1. “I will do whatever it takes to get what I want”
        • SLIDE 17 We’ve seen this for a long time here in California with our so called “sanctuary cities” like San Francisco, where they refuse to enforce federal laws and give a pass to convicted criminals.
        • Since the death of Ruth Ginsburg just over a week ago, we’ve seen elected officials like SLIDE 18 Chuck Shumer and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez say that their party will do whatever it takes to maintain control of the Supreme Court and preserve Roe v. Wade and other progressive judicial decisions.
        • What all five of these expressions share in common is a commitment to the use of raw, unbridled power to accomplish what is right in eyes of the one wielding the power, rather than what has been legally agreed upon through constitutional means over our 231 year history as a republic. It’s a vivid example of Nietzsche’s Will to power that we touched on recently. And is diametrically opposed to the biblical idea that our power comes from God as an entrustment and is to be used for the glory of God and the good of those under our care.
        • Jesus said that the enemy of our souls comes to “steal, kill and destroy.” Powerful words: Steal, Kill, Destroy – three verbs that summarize the lawlessness that characterizes what is playing out on American streets and, at times, in the halls of Congress.
        • Lawless people don’t want to have a discussion. They are not interested in hearing your opinion. They are insistent on having their way. They are not out to dialogue. They are out to win at all costs. And if that means bending or breaking or changing the law, they will do it.
        • What can you do? Protect yourself. Be careful and prayerful. Elect officials who will preserve order and work to correct the problems that are inevitably part of any government.
        • Okay, here are some resources…

Some resources

Jonathan Haidt – Coddling of the American Mind interview


Stossel: Jordan Peterson vs. “Social Justice Warriors”


Have We All Gone Mad? The Snowflake Epidemic


Yale students bullying professor Nicholas Christakis

Back story in the Atlantic:

Actual email:

Bio of professor:

Nice summary:


Jordan Peterson being bullied by students at McMaster


Michael Knowles being shouted down at GW


Evergreen State University vs. Bret Weinstein, white professor


I Love America Too Much to Stay Silent: Nestride Yumga (4:29)


The Flip Side 


  1. The “lefting” of American institutions 
    • What this means is that, through the last half of twentieth century and the first twenty years of the twenty-first, there has been a steady move to the left side of the political spectrum across the board in the major sectors of society: education, government policy, media, entertainment and the arts.
    • “The Left” can be a kind of catch all phrase, so let me explain what is meant. It is not the same as the Democratic party. SLIDE 20 The democratic party, like it’s Republican counterpart, is a coalition of various groups. In the Democratic Party, you have more centrist Establishment liberals like Biden and Clinton to more extreme left-leaning politicians like Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and AOC.
    • The left is an ideology that embodies several foundational beliefs: SLIDE 21
      1. Secularism: sounds innocuous (we equate it with being objective and scientific; but it is a faith commitment founded on philosophical materialism (the view that the only reality is material reality); anti-theism (not atheism but a posture that is virulently anti God and anti religion) and moral relativism (another benign sounding term that means there are no moral absolutes, no basis for judging all human behavior in all places, at all times; instead, there are only cultural constructs to determine behavior (gender fluidity, LGBT norms).
      1. SLIDE 22 Statism: the belief that centralized government control is better than individual freedoms (absolute monarchy, Communism (Ex: American colonies; Brexit)
      1. SLIDE 23 Socialism: State control of some industries and resources; income redistribution based on Marxist class struggle model: a “we vs. them” tribalism (victim vs. oppressor; in 2011, Occupy Wall Street vs. 1%; now victim/oppressor language is more along black/white lines)
      1. SLIDE 24 Globalism: A disdain of American exceptionalism (no civics in HS; rich white guys who were racists and misogynists… colonial power led by racists….Pres. Obama apologizing to rest of world) Open borders, world without borders; international treaties. Trump: “Make America Great Again” is a threat.
    • The Left is convinced their vision for the future is the right one and that those who disagree are simply narrow-minded, backwards looking obscurantists who must be discredited and silenced. So they use buzzwords to write off anyone who disagrees with them: racist, sexist, fascist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, xenophobic, climate denier.
    • How is this leftist agenda playing out in the sectors of society? SLIDE 25
      • K-12 education. Kids being indoctrinated into certain ideological values, whether on climate change, non-traditional family structures, LGBT norms, or, most recently, white privilege through the 1619 project.
      • SLIDE 26 In higher Ed, we’ve gone from teaching young adults how to think critically to teaching them what to think: indoctrinating them into a dominant worldview and shutting down free speech (Jonathan Haidt attributes this to a homogenizing of university faculties. His research shows that, in the 80s and 90s, the ratio of right-leaning professors to left-leaning was 1 to 3; now it is 1 to 17).
      • SLIDE 27 Mainstream media. Abandoned objective analysis in favor of reinforcing values espoused by those on the ideological left.
      • SLIDE 28 Social media is controlled by left-leaning CEOs who routinely promote a certain narrative and censor material that doesn’t fit that agenda, with no recourse. Silicone Valley executives are among the most committed
      • SLIDE 29 Sports (NFL, NBA, ESPN)
      • SLIDE 30 Legal system: DAs who refuse to prosecute for crimes (Portland, Chicago, Seattle). George Soros funds local DA elections.
    • What’s troubling is that… social contract… founding documents.
    • Here are some resources to get you started

Some resources

Left or Liberal?


The Hill: The Democratic Party and it’s leftward drift


Why I left the left: Dave Rubin (4:22)


The Left ruins everything: Dennis Prager (5:50)


The left’s extreme reaction to Ginsburg’s death


Why Are Conservatives Happier Than Liberals?


How Morals Influence If You’re Liberal Or Conservative


No, Kamala Harris is not a moderate


Two other issues


  1. Technocratic oligarchy
    • Definition: an ideological system in which experts in various disciplines determine policy, control industry and/or run the government rather than elected representatives.
    • Recently, Politicians like Gavin Newsom who this week banned the future sale of gasoline cars/trucks after 2035. ; also covid restrictions. Sustainable living and climate change, German threaten to imprison climate “deniers”
    • High Tech executives like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos are unelected and are subject to virtually no accountability, yet they have an inordinate power to shape public opinion through technological means that were unheard of 10-20 years ago.
    • If you having watch the movie, “The Social Dilemma”, it is well worth your time.


Some resources




What Is A Technocracy? Pro


Technocracies: Power to the Experts? (3:26) Pro


America Is a Technocracy, Not a Democracy: Ryan McMaken (13:01) Con


Humans 2.0: GMO Vaccinations and Transhumanism: Patrick Wood, Con


Patrick Wood’s website (warning against the dangers of technocracy)


Technocracy and The Global Political Consensus





The Social Dilemma (Netflix documentary)


You Will Wish You Watched This Before You Started Using Social Media (13:19)


The Media Research Center has launched CensorTrack, a website dedicated to #FreeSpeechAmerica, a campaign designed to fight online censorship of conservatives.



  1. Transhumanism
    1. Definition: The incorporation of technology into humans to extend life, increase knowledge and enhance other sensory and cognitive capacities. NBIC research and the Human 2.0 projects.
    2. Bill Gates, Eugenics background. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: advocates Gene extinction technology (mosquitos)
    3. Elon Musk- Neuralink


Some resources


Transhumanism: Will humans evolve to something smarter? | A-Z of ISMs Episode 20 – BBC Ideas


A Transhumanist Timeline


Transhumanism 2.0 (4:45:15 documentary)


How transhumanist technologies will change everything? Zoltan Istvan (4:07)


The Science Behind ‘Genetically Modified Humans’


“This Could Be a Tragedy For Humanity” – The First Brain Chip Implant


Our Post-Human Future: David Simpson


The coming transhuman era: Jason Sosa


“Human 2.0”? A Wake-Up Call To The World: Carrie Madej, DO (21:16)


ID, Wallet, Keys All In Your Hand: Sweden Moves Into The Future With Microchipping


U.S Employee microchip implants raise ethical questions


Take aways

  • Those are some sobering reflections on some troubling trends that we need to be aware of. SLIDE 33 Jesus told his disciples not to freak out when things started going whacky. He told them to be on their guard, to pay attention to the warning signs and to prayerfully entrust themselves into the care of the Father. That’s good advice for us today.
  • Be wise as serpents. Be alert, be on your guard. Don’t fall asleep at the wheel. Speak out against the craziness. Don’t be intimidated into silence and go along with the crowd.
  • At same time, be gentle as doves, loving God and others, even those who want to take away your rights and silence you. Don’t let our ideological enemies tempt you into hating them. Pray for them. Pray for our country. America is worth fighting for. SLIDE 34 But ultimately our fight is “not against flesh and blood” and our allegiance is to a far higher authority: the One who bears “the name that is above every name.” Let’s pray.

Quick reminders: Tom

Benediction: Sharon